- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A Great Mills man faced a deadline this week to pay $2,600 in fines or face possible court proceedings and a civil judgment on 12 citations issued by St. Mary’s animal control officers in connection with dogs attacking two teenagers last month in his neighborhood.
Brian Keith Stapleton picked up an adult dog quarantined in a regional animal shelter after the Aug. 26 incident, but three puppies not picked up at the facility in Hughesville have been euthanized, St. Mary’s Animal Control Supervisor Tony Malaspina said Thursday at his office in Leonardtown.
A 13-year-old St. Mary’s boy received stitches at a hospital after he suffered bite wounds from the four pit bulls that got out of their owner’s fenced-in yard, county authorities reported after the incident, and an older teenager also was injured. A gate became open along the 6-foot wooden fence at the Great Mills residence, while the owner of the 2-year-old female dog and her three 8-month-old puppies was away.
The civil citations issued by an animal control officer charge Stapleton with four offenses each of failing to provide a dog with a rabies shot, having a dog running at large and for a dog attacking a person, unprovoked and causing injury.
None of the four dogs seized after the incident exhibited any signs of having rabies during a 10-day quarantine period, Malaspina said, and the owner was notified that they could be picked up. “He reclaimed the adult dog, and paid his fees. He said he would come back,” the animal control supervisor said. “The other three were put to sleep because he failed to go back and get them within the alloted amount of time ... the alloted 72 hours.”
Animal warden John Miedzinski said after the incident that the dogs were running around the townhouses at the St. George’s Hundred neighborhood, and that the two teenagers went to the owner’s home on St. Leonard’s Circle to let him know the dogs were out. No one answered the door, and the teenagers were going back to the older one’s home that afternoon when they were attacked. The older teenager, 18, reported that he was attacked by the mother dog and one of the puppies, leaving him with a single bite wound to his buttocks. The 13-year-old boy reported that he was attacked by all four dogs, and he was taken to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, where he was treated and released.
The younger teenager’s mother said after the incident that her son needed seven stitches in the top of his left hand, and suffered puncture wounds and bruising on both arms and legs.